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I find one part of the whole "Cloud will kill IBM" subject kind of amusing.

Who invested remote processing data centres with shared processing power charged on a metered basis and only dumb clients locally?
Well, IBM.

That's not to say they won't get their lunch money stolen by some young
whippersnapper on many contracts, but if so it's not because they're late to the party.
Unless 1958 was "late".


if you want to offer a particular cloud service to thousands of users you could do it with a network of thousands of PCs and small servers or you could do it with a mainframe.

"That's it," says Nebuloni. "If you have a lot of users and a particular purpose, you might want a mainframe. They scale."

As CTO of cloud computing at IBM UK, Steve Strutt knows all about making the argument in favour of cloud computing on mainframes. "The great thing about cloud computing is that it is scalable," he says. And for him that means that if you want to run cloud services on small servers that is fine, but if you want to roll it out to thousands of users you can do that as well....

There is one fundamental reason that mainframes will not go away any time soon: many of the companies that use them in mission critical applications. Mainframes represent a major expense and at the same time they are often running mission critical applications — big applications — that are important, often vital, to the financial health of a company.

The business risk and cost of migration means the return on investment on decommissioning these systems is just not there.

Finding staff with the skills to run and maintain these big beasts is one of the biggest problems as the baby boomers, who started their careers when the mainframe was young, begin to retire. But now some companies are training a new generation of mainframe engineers to continue the work.

So the question holders of IBM need to ask themselves is (since they, IBM, don't really do PCs) is:

What kinds of servers are they going to manufacture, large or small (or both) and how good are they as compared to their competition and do they have the work force they need to maintain them?
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